Cocoa farmers in Ghana are calling for a 72.5% increase in the farm gate price of cocoa beans for the upcoming cocoa season, which is set to begin on September 8, 2023, rather than the originally planned date of October 1, 2023, as announced by the Ghana Cocoa Board.
The Ghana Civil Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) has taken the lead in expressing these concerns, holding a news conference to highlight their need for a higher commodity price.
Ms Leticia Yankey, a platform member, stated their viewpoint, noting that their request corresponds with the Producer Price Review Committee’s mission, which is to guarantee that the farm gate price remains at a minimum of 70% of the net Free on Board (FoB) price of cocoa beans. GCCP thinks that Ghanaian farmers should get no less than $22,080 per tonne, or $1,380 per bag (62.5kg) of cocoa beans, based on the lowest forecasted values and a Living Income Differential (LID) of $400 per tonne, as agreed upon.
Mr Obed Owusu-Addai, Co-Coordinator of the Ghana Civil Society Cocoa Platform, expressed concern over the LID, stating that it has dwindled to a mere $25.
He highlighted the impact of this reduction on cocoa premiums, explaining that in previous years, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire had enjoyed country premiums and bonuses.
However, with the introduction of the $400 per tonne LID for the 2019/20 cocoa season, market dynamics shifted, leading to a decline in premiums, which now stand at only $25.
“Before 2020, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire were enjoying the origin differential/country premium and even after the season had ended, COCOBOD gave bonuses. But in the 2019/20 cocoa season when Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire instituted the Living Income Differential of $400 per tonne of cocoa, the market reacted”.
“For the 2020/2021 cocoa season, the country premium went into negative to the extent that till date, the premium has reduced to $25,” he complained.
The Ghana Civil-Society Cocoa Platform serves as an independent campaign and advocacy entity for civil society stakeholders within the cocoa sector.